This is the Small Luxury Hotels of the World at its oenological best
Food & wine
Set right on the banks of Europe’s longest ‘wine river’, the Hacienda Zorita enjoys an enviable position in the Duero Valley. Indeed, surrounded by beautifully terraced vineyards, it lives and breathes viticulture, its winery tours led by seasoned sommeliers and cellars host to thousands of oak barrels. It all makes up one of Spain’s most well-regarded wine regions. You’ll also be just a few minutes away from Salamanca, a UNESCO-listed wonder formed from golden sandstone. It’s an aesthetic that beautifies everything from its spectacular cathedral to its historic university, Europe’s third oldest.
This Dominican estate dates back to the 14th century, its 700 years of history having seen it host farming friars, millers and even one Christopher Columbus. As such, expect rooms of great stone walls to host antique Provençal armoires, forming the largest collection in Europe. Some even come with private gardens, their own wine cellars and comfy window nooks that look out over the Duero River. It’s all realised in line with delightfully traditional sensibilities, each room with its own individual style that looks out over the estate’s 300 hectares of eagle-plied farmlands and oak forests.
Ever since the hacienda’s establishment in 1366, it’s been occupied by farmers. It’s a tradition that continues to this day, with its grounds home to African water buffalo and woolly Mangalica pigs. As such, you can expect sumptuous mozzarella cheese and that famous Ibérico ham along with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, just-baked breads and fresh fruits and vegetables. Direct from the Hacienda Zorita Organic Farm, these ingredients serve the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant, in local favourites as hearty soups, crunchy salads and open-faced toasted sandwiches known as tostas.
Your time at the Hacienda Zorita will centre on its oenological delights. Tasting tours will see you sample your way through its cellars’ 1,450-strong collection of barrels, while its resident sommeliers will guide you through dinner pairings. And, to take advantage of that famous Spanish sunshine, there’s an intimate outdoor swimming pool, complete with sun loungers. For further relaxation, book a session at its spa; you’ll even be able to experience a wine-themed vinotherapy treatment.
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